‘NPF Speaker murdered democracy on Dec 13’

Dimapur, December 29 (MExN): Countering the statement made by NPF President Dr Shurhozelie of ‘Congress Speakers’, the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) expressed surprise that the NPF president has now come up with an entirely new Constitutional positions such as ‘Congress Speakers’ and pointed out that this was unheard of in the Indian parliamentary democracy. It  reminded that there are such political party posts in hallowed institutions like the assembly or the Parliament.

“Most probably, it is this mindset which has made them assume the Speaker in the Nagaland Assembly is not a “Congress Speaker”, but an “NPF Speaker” and that they should misuse his office. No wonder the DAN coalition has used the “NPF Speaker” to assassinate democracy in Nagaland on December 13, 2007”, stated Vitsorel Lcho Member, Media Cell, NPCC in a press note.

The NPCC termed as shameful that the NPF President should so unabashedly try to justify his party’s cruel murder of democracy on December 13, 2007, and without any compunction, try to put the whole blame on the Congress party. “It is a matter of great embarrassment for all Nagas that the leader is bereft of any sense of shame, a phenomenon which is very strange to Nagas”, it stated and added that power has not only gone to the heads of the DAN leaders, it has also corrupted their reasoning. “There can be no arguments with DAN for the gross injustice they have done to democracy and democracy-loving citizens of the State and country”.

Reiterating its attack on the Speaker, the NPCC pointed out that the DAN coalition has molested the dignity of the hallowed institution and it now lies in ruins, devastated and beyond salvage. “Indeed, the Speaker’s name will be scripted in bold letters in the Book of Notoriety of Nagaland Legislative Assembly for “assiduously protecting” the ruling dispensation; throwing all caution to the winds; and orchestrating the whole proceedings of the House”, the NPCC stated.

On the NPF President’s claim that the Independent MLAs have joined the NPF and then the Congress party, the NPCC termed this as most interesting and pointed out that the NPF President had conveniently forgotten that Independent MLAs extending support to any Government does not amount to joining the political party or coalition, and as such, does not attract the penalties of the Tenth Schedule. The NPCC stated that the NPF President should check out the Attendance Register in the Legislative Assembly whether they have been signing in the Independent Members’ register or not. “Even on the 13 th December 2007 one-day session, the Independent Members, including the Hon’ble Minister Imkong L Imchen, appended their signature in the said register”, it stated while adding that if the Congress party were as crooked and power-hungry as the DAN coalition, and if it had the twisted and erroneous reasoning that the DAN coalition has regarding the status of the Independent members, it would have filed a disqualification petition before the Speaker to immediately disqualify the Independent Member Imkong L Imchen by producing the Notification appointing him as a Minister. “And going by the infamous precedent of the Speaker, he would have been restrained from casting his vote in the Confidence or No-Confidence Motions as he, the Speaker did to the other three Independent MLAs”. The NPCC stated that however, it was fully aware that these notifications appointing or relieving the Independent MLAs do not in any way support the claim that they have joined any political party and that the Congress party has not done so till date.

Pointing out that the entire premise of NPF President’s argument was based on the circular of the Speaker dated August 21, 2006 which was, for obvious reasons, circulated on December 12, 2007, the NPCC reiterated that this circular was never discussed in the House let alone passed by all the Members as claimed and informed that there was no sitting of the Assembly on August 21, 2006. The NPCC stated that moreover, the Speaker cannot issue any directions to over-ride the Constitution or the Tenth Schedule and that there was no amendment of the Rules of Business and Procedure of the House nor The Members of Nagaland Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Grounds of Defection) Rules, 2003. The NPCC maintained that consequently, the Speaker should not have violated the Constitutional mandate by means of a circular issued by himself, with no backing of the House. “All said and done, the Speaker’s direction contained in the Bulletin dated 12th December 2007 clearly reveals the bias of the Speaker to ensure the survival of the Government at any cost”, the NPCC stated.

With regard to the voting in defiance of a whip, the NPCC maintained that unless there is voting and vote is counted as being contrary to the whip or direction, how is it to be concluded that there has been such defiance unless it is counted as being contrary to the whip? “It would be a “mere attempt” and there is no disqualification for “attempt to vote contrary to the whip”, it stated and that such action of disqualification springs only after the action is completed, and not before. “Therefore, the Rule to exclude the vote of such person who allegedly defies the whip apart from being arbitrary and unconstitutional, is in direct conflict with the scheme of the Tenth Schedule. The DAN coalition, again, appears to have framed its own Commandments and rules and Procedures!” the NPCC stated.